Why We Have to Become Our Own Healthcare Advocates
It’s all too easy to go to the doctor or clinic and come away with a prescription. That’s what physicians and nurses are trained to do. It’s up to us to advocate for our own health. Doctors are permitted a finite amount of time to spend with patients (often less than 10 minutes per visit) and so, a doctor visit is supposed to be focused on one or two ailments – at most. This is why when setting an appointment you are asked specifically, what is your health concern?
If you don’t advocate for your own health, who will?
Our society has been trained to treat health conditions with a pill, a series of shots, or other reactive “treatment” methods versus trying to get to the root cause of a problem. I was in the same boat. I was all too happy to take a drug to clear an infection, to treat hypothyroidism, to receive allergy shots for nearly 3 years..
That changed in the past 18 months. I began to look for alternatives via healthier nutrition, nature’s own unadulterated supplements, and pure essential oils. I searched for natural ways to treat illness because my decade + of learning had taught me that many of our common illnesses today were CAUSED by drug medications.
So, how do I take charge of my own health?
It wasn’t an abrupt change on my part; I can credit finally quitting smoking to my desire to become a wellness consultant back in 2001. After all, what kind of hypocrite would I be as a cigarette-smoking wellness consultant?! Who would want to listen to my suggestions or follow my direction toward experts and methodology that might help them when I wasn’t heeding my own advice?
So, while this isn’t a new perspective (I’ll share my reading list, later) it’s within the last 2 years that I’ve taken firm action to regain my strength and health. I’ve eliminated several prescription drugs and improved my nutrition.
Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back
It’s no easy feat. Results from a recent Adrenal Stress Test indicated I have a sensitivity to gluten. So, along with my immense struggle to reduce my sugar-dependency, I went gluten-free for about 3 weeks.
OMG! I feel like The Incredible Shrinking Woman. I’m a small chick to begin with so a loss of 5 pounds is not a welcome result. I know there are many among you who can’t imagine this is a bad thing but it really is.
Each of us have our own challenges and while I once weighed 152 lbs (on my 5’3-something frame) I had one helluva time losing the weight. (That gain was partially attributed to the Prednisone I’d been subscribed to deal with an unidentifiable rash. It was quite welcome because in time, it did the trick. I just wasn’t prepared for the cravings I experienced and ate a lot of junk I shouldn’t have.)
Weight: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It
Here, I can identify with those who struggle to lose weight. It was a battle and I lost. You know how there’s a silver lining to every cloud? I lost my Dad early the following year and discovered that for me, grief is a great weight-loss program. For others, I’m told, it’s a reason to over-indulge. Talk about a Catch-22!
For me, the autoimmune condition called hypothyroidism was my catalyst for change.
Auto-Immunity and Hypothyroidism – a Black Hole
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 25 years ago. Standard treatment, get referred to endocrinologist. More standard treatment: TSH blood tests. Treatment protocol: Synthroid. The prevalence of this treatment avenue makes me wonder how much doctors are paid to prescribe this drug? For more than two decades I was given this medicine – in increasing dosages, as blood tests for TSH levels indicated.
The facts that:
- my energy level was nil
- I suffered from insomnia
- I was freezing every moment of every day
- I was losing hair
- my nails were brittle
- I felt exhausted
- and more
didn’t change the protocol. That is until I began researching alternatives, learning about the 6 (not 3) standard blood tests I should have (thanks Dr. Amy Myers) and began exploring lots of authors, websites, and watching the Betrayal Series this year. That’s what led me to new discoveries, new resources that helped me write the blog post, above.